The Shy Siren

Would you believe me if I told you I’m shy?
I am not easily offended, but I am shy.
Shy [shahy]
Part of Speech: adjective

Definition: quiet and self-conscious

Upon first inspection, I appear to be a perfect match:
bashful, cautious, conscious, coy, demure, diffident, disinclined, hesitant, humble, modest, nervous, reluctant, reserved, reticent, self effacing, suspicious, timid, unassertive, unassured, unwilling, wary
Then there are it’s antonyms, which also describe me to a tee:
confident, extroverted, unashamed, unreserved
Being shy and being social do not have to be mutually exclusive.
Do I sometimes feel uncomfortable? Sure.
Do I face uncertainty? Absolutely.
Do I let it affect my behaviour and choices? Absolutely not.
I’m too stubborn to let myself act shy.
Stubborn [stuhb-ern]
Part of Speech: adjective
Definition: obstinate, unyielding
I am all of these things: adamant, balky, bullheaded, determined, dogged, firm, fixed, headstrong, intractable, mulish, obdurate, opinionated, persevering, persistent, pertinacious, perverse, rebellious, recalcitrant, refractory, relentless, rigid, self-willed, set in one’s ways, single minded, steadfast, tenacious, unshakable, willful
I am none of these:
complacent, willing, yielding
As my sister says; “You reach an age where being shy is no longer socially acceptable. The last thing any of us want to do is offer ourselves up on a platter. However, no one wants to be the socially awkward adult at the cocktail party either.”
Likewise, as we mature we’re encouraged to compromise, to foster understanding, and to control our own wilfulness. But in no way does that require us to bend to another’s will, give up our individuality, or be mindful of the thought police.


What then do I mean, when I call myself “shy”?


After years of cultivating the perfect, reliable, permissive athletic demeanor, I notice a stark dichotomy between my gregarious nature, and my conservative, reserved, well-trained background.

I can be managed, mindful, and refined – AND- impulsive, strong-willed, and robust.
I have all of these attributes, and many, many more.
So, for the record, I am shy
Whether you believe me or not…

“Because I was promoted as a sort of a siren, people made the mistake of thinking I was like that off the screen. They couldn’t have been more wrong” – Ava Gardner


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